GeekDad speaks out about Gamergate

So if I agree that we are posting comments on the internet, does this imply that we are looking for attention? Yes and no!

I consider it to merely be a communications medium, and communication need not involve egoism and other such personal problems.

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Except that most games aren’t made by “the industry”, and don’t use marketing/publicity people. Although many industry people have expressed hostility to me over this on the grounds that “those examples don’t matter”.

If you’re making games for a profit, you’re in the industry. My point was only to say my idea of what gamergate is about is different from what has been portrayed in the media, and to that I can see how reviews are biased while I do not see the unfairness in the workplace.

A question: Do you think that your perspective might somehow be compromised by the fact that you are one of the ones who have benefitted from the system as it currently exists?

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If you mean by benefited as employed, no I don’t think I have anymore bias than anyone else. I’ve seen what goes on in the companies that I’ve worked at, big and small. I’m all for equality in the workplace. I think online harassing is awful, and I think there is a level of immaturity on both sides. I don’t like twitter… maybe that’s my bias.

And, just so I know what you’re talking about. What is your idea of what GG is about?

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The reason I ask the question is that I have a background in education. A common critique of a The Educational System is that it has been designed, operated, and maintained by a group of people who themselves are largely the models for success in the system. To be a teacher means that you have passed through all the filters that weed out individuals that don’t mesh with that system. This backdrop frames the issue at the core of educational reform debates: how do you change a system that is made up people that benefitted most from its establishment?

It’s not that there is a conspiracy, or that teachers themselves are bad; but as a gestalt, the system self-supports some implicit assumptions, chiefly the definition of success, the nature of education, and education’s role in society.

This line of thinking is why I have problems with statements like “who cares if they are male or female! Just hire quality employees!”, or the pledge to “make great games” listed above. They evade self-reflection by avoiding a discussion of implicit biases.

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I agree. I’m coming from the perspective of in my experience I’ve had female superiors in every job I’ve had.
The game companies I’ve worked at are very diverse. The only exception to that is one Japanese based company, that I personally felt they were somewhat biased against the American employees but gender did not play a role ( I loved working there regardless). I think it matters nowadays that you are creative and hard working and that’s it.

My understanding is Gamergate has alot of issues, but the main one is collusion and unfair practices in the media when it comes to rating games.

While I’d love for you to be right, I think it’s empirically provable that your experience is nonstandard. There are a lot more men than women in tech in general and game design in particular. Men in tech make more money than women in equivalent positions do. Men in tech are perceived to be go-getters when they are assertive, whereas women fight the “bitch” label.

There’s a lot going on in our culture, from the largest formulation of “culture” to the narrowest, that serves to marginalize or erase the experience of women. Hopefully we’re making progress, but there’s still a long way to go.

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I never said anything about the ratios of men vs women, I only said women were treated equally at the places I’ve worked. This includes 2 producers and 2 vice presidents not to mention artists, designers, testers, marketing, biz dev, ect. It is true I haven’t seen too many programmers but I am not going to assume why that is. This is a legitimate debate, but sort of different of what I though gamergate was really about.

Why are people still compelled to ask why other people are “speaking out”?

If the issue in question is truly “on the ashheap of history”, then the “speaking out” will be as mundane a non-event as (say) mentioning that DCC was better audio quality than MiniDisc.

I mean, suppose Boing Boing posted an article about old dead audio formats. Would you be rushing to the discussion thread to ask “Why are people still compelled to discuss the MiniDisc audio quality issue?” I rather doubt it.

When something is really on the ashheap of history, people stop talking about it naturally, without needing to have their conversations questioned.

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The GeekDad pledge appears to be directed toward the larger issue of sexism and harassment in gaming, of which Gamergate is only one symptom. To that end, if your point is

“What, you’re still on that sexism in gaming thing? When are you going to let it go?”

Then the reasonable response is

“When sexism is no longer a pervasive problem in gaming.”

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i.e. “Actually, it’s about ethics in video game journalism”.

But everyone here knows that that’s not the main issue when you look at what GamerGate folks actually talk about, and it wasn’t one of the issues GamerGate had anything to do with when it started.

So, are you astroturfing, or were you suckered by a bunch of trolls?

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That’s what I sorta meant but I guess I said it the wrong way. I started following it from the ‘media’ standpoint (harassing, misogyny) and then took some time to look at the other side (ethics in journalism). While I like a good debate, these are 2 totally different subjects. Honestly, I’ve been rather leery of what the media has been reporting in general and I’ve seen some of the perks gaming journalists get.

They heard the concern and changed it. It’s much better now.

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OK, now I know what you’re talking about!

I think the geekdad post addresses GG, it addresses the very thing that started GG. Lets face it, the only thing that GG has been successful at is driving women out of their homes. It makes sense that this is the thing that gets addressed.

I know you don’t agree that this is what GG is about, but you don’t have to agree for this next bit to be true:
GG has not successfully raised awareness about “Ethics in games journalism”, it has not raised awareness about corruption in game reviews, its only gossiped about it but has not actually attempted to even document specific cases and denounce the people or companies who are involved and in what ways it affects reviews.
Heck, I’ve layed out a better roadmap for GG to actually talk about “ethics in games journalism” in my last paragraph than GG has even dared to suggest at any point in its history, not at the beginning when there was outrage that Zoey Quinn’s ex boyfriend alleged that she traded sex for positive reviews, and not now that he said its not true and gaters want to forget that’s the reason GG came to be about “ethics in games journalism”

Look, I don’t care if you want to talk about game reviews and how to stop bad review practices. But nobody in GG is serious about these things, no matter how much they claim to care about them. There are no people able to talk about “ethics in games journalism” in the GG crowd, all I’ve seen is people claiming that its about ethics in games journalism and not doing anything meaningful about it. and for all their efforts they won’t see how badly everything they’ve tried has failed.

TL;DR
without getting into what GG is about, I’ll just say that GG hasn’t been effective at doing anything about ratings in games. It has only managed to harass women. This post addressed that.

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Not only that, but product reviews are easily the least interesting and most biased areas of game journalism. Video games are a trade with all of the usual coverage. And the technical stuff, which is never very sensational. How about optimizing drivers and OpenGL shaders? Are all of the tech paper corrupt also?

Reviews are barely even journalism in the first place.

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Cool, that’s a fair enough point. It’s not that I agree or disagree I just know what I have seen personally in the workplace. I’ll come right out and say it, it all sounds like immature people who have way too much time on their hands to tweet each other stupid memes… on both sides. Now the press, just being the press is going to hype the story any way they want giving games and gamers a bad name.

I would submit that a review isn’t necessarily journalism, but that doesn’t mean all reviews aren’t journalism.

A proper journalistic review should be like that of a consumer product review, where reviewers don’t accept advertising from companies whose products they review, they don’t get free samples or other perks of the products they review, and the review itself is informed of similar competitors’ products so that they can be compared side by side.

In the video games industry, this type of reviewing is non-existent (they are awash in industry advertising, free perks, free products, and self-interested bias), but it does exist in other circles.

So there really is an “ethics in game journalism” issue. It’s just that gamergate is so compromised as a cover for rapist, murderous misogynists it serves no meaningful function in that debate.

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